Today on the tray: Flaming rum punch for pixies

September 20 is National Rum Punch Day. For me, rum punch brings to mind the “flaming rum punch” that Clarence the angel considers ordering in the film It’s a Wonderful Life. (He ultimately settles on mulled wine.)

If you recall, in the alternate universe in which Jimmy Stewart was never born, Bedford Falls has become Pottersville. Among the horrors of Pottersville are a raucous nightlife, dancing girls, and floozies. Worst of all, Donna Reed has become a mousy spinster librarian. Oh God, not that!

We also find that Martini’s bar, now Nick’s, has become a den of homophobia. This is made clear when Clarence considers ordering an effeminate drink—a “flaming rum punch”—and is met with contempt and a threat of violence from bar owner Nick.  Nick informs Clarence and Jimmy Stewart that colorful “characters” are unwelcome, and a few minutes later, the two “pixies” are thrown out on their asses while the bar patrons cheer. It’s obvious that “characters” and “pixies” are code words for more offensive epithets. Watch the video of the scene below.

George Bailey and Clarence the angel order drinks at Nick’s bar in Pottersville, It’s a Wonderful Life (1946)

So go out and enjoy some rum punch on this National Rum Punch Day! Just don’t ask for it in Pottersville.

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